Also known as: Lease condensate
Condensate is a mixture of light liquid hydrocarbons, similar to a very light (high API) crude oil. It is typically separated out of a natural gas stream at the point of production (field separation) when the temperature and pressure of the gas is dropped to atmospheric conditions.
Once separated from natural gas, condensate is generally treated like a crude oil. It can be blended with other heavier crude streams or sent to market directly by pipeline or tanker. Condensate can be processed in a refinery if blended with more conventional crude. Alternatively, it can be sent directly to a condensate splitter for separation into its components.
Condensate is typically valued lower than crude oil because of its high light ends content, which yields a lot of lower value LPGs and light naphtha and makes it difficult to process in high volumes in a refinery. However, there are some condensates containing up to 40% of jet fuel and diesel that are priced higher than crude oil, as they contain very little residue material.
Condensate is not the same as plant condensate (natural gasoline), which is a product from a gas processing plant.
FIND OUT MORE
The Refinery Reference Desk includes content derived from our industry experts as well as from public data sources such as company websites. Nothing herein is intended to serve as investment advice. This material is based on information that we believe to be reliable and adequately comprehensive, but we do not represent that such information is in all respects accurate or complete. McKinsey Energy Insights does not accept any liability for any losses resulting from use of the content.